Scalar aquarium fish, freshwater belonging to the cichlid family. Its name “sailing ship” was adopted due to the shape of fins that resemble a sail. In literature also appears as a lunar fish.
South America. The scales are inhabited primarily by densely overcrowded waters in the central Amazon basin to Peru and Ecuador.
Characteristics, gender and disposition
Scalar is a strongly flattened fish. It reaches a length of 15 cm and a height of 35 cm. The sex of fish can be recognized during the spawning period, based on the shape of the genital wart, pointed in males, rounded off in females. There are numerous breeding variants, differing from wild form and fin length. The fish of the herd, peacefully adjusted to other inhabitants of the tank, can be aggressive during spawning. Skalar will not defend against aggressive and mobile fish. In nature, it is in silver-green or olive color with dark bands that help in camouflage. Other colors were artificially grown. Scalar can live to age 15.
Scalars prefer live food – mosquito larvae, tubifex, plankton, daphnia, eyelids, chopped worms, small fish in the aquarium. It also accepts frozen and dry foods. Diet can be supplemented with plant food.
The scales are best in a herd, in the highest possible aquarium (minimum 50cm), at least 120cm long, with plenty of space for swimming and dense shrubs (eg cryptocoryne, nudibranch, tiger lotus, cabbage, hookah, . Fish among the lush vegetation will be able to find refuge. They like tanks with floating small plants giving a light shade. The optimum temperature in the aquarium should be 24-26 ° C.
The sex of adult scalars is difficult to distinguish. The male has a small fat hump on his forehead. Skalary reach sexual maturity in 7-10 months, living in a herd, pairing. During spawning time they are aggressive, especially in relation to their species. There is a rounded genital wart in the female at this time. The male is smaller and sharper than the male. With the help of the coat, the female glues the eggs to the desired place. Such a place can be a large leaf, a large stone, a piece of glass. The water temperature in spawning and breeding periods should be about 28-32 ° C.
The scabs of the scalars take about 1-2 hours. The female arranges her eggs into strips and the male, following her, fertilizes the eggs. Adult females make up to 1000 eggs. A good pair of scalars in good condition is made to rotate every 4-5 weeks and usually takes care of it for up to 3 days.
If it comes to spawning in the “general” aquarium, remove the eggs together with the leaf, stone, etc., on which the egg is laid, transfer to a separate tank and well water it in the tank. The broken seed should be carefully removed. The egg ripens for about 2-4 days, at which time “movement” can be observed, then the larvae tear off and fall to the bottom of the tank. The fry are lying on the bottom of the tank or slightly floating in the water.
Larvae on first days feed from yolk bag (3-5 days). Then the young fish begin to look for food in the aquarium. At this time the best to use: “micro” nematode, live microplankton animal, very fine ground dry plant type or egg yolk.